Securing a successful capital raise is a momentous event for a company of any size or stature. For a startup or pre-revenue business, it can signify the launch of your product or service to market and serve as notice that there is a newly backed player in the field. A more established company benefits from the perception that new money in will accelerate growth of an already successful business. What it provides for organizations of all sizes, however, is the opportunity for VC funding PR.
To achieve the coverage you want, you must adequately prepare your media relations program. Here’s four tips to consider:
Mind the calendar. Many founders are eager to rush out their VC funding PR announcement because they want to quickly signal to the market their milestone. If you’re hoping to secure top tier media coverage, that can be a mistake.
It’s a simple supply vs. demand issue within technology and financial media today where the demand (companies with funding stories) outweighs supply (reporters with bandwidth to write them). As such, it’s crucial to build in multiple weeks of outreach before the public announcement to ensure you’re giving reporters the flexibility to take on your story should they choose to. FischTank works with reporters who have asked for as many as 2-3 weeks’ notice to work on a story.
Also do your due diligence to make sure there are not any significant events (CES, Apple Days, etc.) that may be going on that could steal your thunder. These events often dominate page space and social media engagement and can result in your news being lost in the noise.
Dangle the carrot. To maximize coverage, many PR firms will “spray-and-pray” hundreds of journalists with the same pitch in an effort to land multiple stories – regardless of quality (don’t do this!). While multiple pieces of coverage is always the goal, reporters also know they are generally not the only ones being pitched and at times won’t want to compete or share eyeballs on a story with other outlets.
In these instances, you’ll need to make it more enticing. This can include offering exclusive quotes or commentary to a particular journalist under embargo (with the understanding that other reporters may get pitched the same story but they will not receive the exclusive quotes) or offering a full exclusive to the journalist of your choice for them to write the singular story on your announcement.
Reporters are flooded with VC funding PR announcements, but they all love the idea of having a story that no one else has.
Not just about the numbers. Another way to make your story more attractive to journalists is to offer more than just the dollar amount of your investment as a hook. Some reporters are fine to write a straight business piece about your capital raise, but others want to tell a larger story about what it means for your company, the industry in which you work, or VC as a whole.
Some examples of other information you can include:
- Quotes from/access to investors for interview
- Background on what the investment will be used for (sales, marketing, product development, hiring, etc.)
- Founder diversity: TechCrunch reported that former (
failed?) WeWork founder Adam Neumann raised more in his first round for his new startup than all Black entrepreneurs combined in Q3 of last year. Highlighting diverse stories can give you priority.
- Tie in other company news – product updates, personnel moves, business milestones
If your story has to compete with five other companies who have raised similar dollars in similar industries, any of these additions can push reporters toward coverage.
Utilize all avenues for coverage. If you were to ask most founders/entrepreneurs to name their top outlet for where they’d like to see their VC funding PR coverage they’d likely say TechCrunch, Venturebeat, or something similar. No doubt, these are important outlets and top of list, but they are not the only valuable opportunities out there.
Along with those, consider prominent VC funding PR newsletters (many top tier outlets publish them to large readerships), regional news outlets to your business headquarters, trade publications within your industry where your customers read, broadcast (both TV and digital), and even podcasts.
Your key audiences (investors, partners, customers, potential employees, etc.) consume news across a variety of platforms. A well-rounded media approach ensures you can reach all of your intended targets.
The moral of the story? Don’t just assume that because you raised money someone will write about it. A sound media relations strategy that offers key details and an intriguing story along with your funding milestone is your best bet to achieving the press you’re looking for. Trust us – we’ve been doing this for a decade.
Are you getting ready to announce an upcoming funding round or capital event and want to secure media coverage to maximize exposure? Email us at [email protected] to get started.